Southern Miss goes 1-2 in conference opener

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After two losses on Saturday, the Southern Miss softball team (11-10, 1-2 C-USA) earned a 7-3 win in the series finale against North Texas on Sunday. The series marked the start of Conference USA play for both teams.

Lacey Sumerlin kicked things off for Southern Miss in the top of the first inning with an RBI single that allowed Chase Nelson to score. However, North Texas responded with seven runs in the bottom half of the inning to give the Golden Eagles a 7-1 deficit.

The Southern Miss cut North Texas’s lead to three runs in the top of the second inning. A single by Sarah Van Schaik and subsequent North Texas error allowed to Golden Eagles to score, followed by an RBI double from Sumerlin that scored Van Schaik.

After three scoreless innings, Kaitlyn Passeau hit a solo home run to right center field in the top of the sixth inning to cut the North Texas lead to 7-5.

Bailie Springfield, pitching in relief of starting pitcher Kaylan Ladner, held the North Texas bats scoreless over the last 5.2 innings of the game, but the Southern Miss was unable to mount a full comeback in the 7-5 loss.

Springfield struck out two batters and allowed six hits in relief. Ladner, who was credited with the loss, lasted 0.1 innings and allowed seven runs on five hits in her appearance in the circle.

The Golden Eagles took the first lead for either team in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader. In the third inning, an RBI single from Madison Rayner and a subsequent RBI double from Van Schaik allowed Alyssa Davis, Rayner and Nelson to reach home plate.

The 3-0 lead for Southern Miss held until the bottom of the sixth inning when North Texas went on a 4-0 run to take its first lead of the contest. North Texas held Southern Miss scoreless in the top of the seventh inning to close out the 4-3, comeback win over the Golden Eagles.

Starting pitcher Abby Trahan allowed four runs on five hits while also recording three strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched for Southern Miss

In the series finale on Sunday, Southern Miss kick-started play with a three-run first inning. Destini Brown hit a home run to open play, then a Davis RBI double to left field brought two more runs home for the Golden Eagles.

Sumerlin hit the team’s second home run of the game in the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run to give Southern Miss a 4-0 lead. However, North Texas responded with three runs in the bottom frame of the fifth inning to cut the Southern Miss’ lead to one run.
In the top of the seventh inning, Southern Miss added three more runs to add to the lead. Sumerlin hit a two-RBI single and later scored after Davis reached base on a fielder’s choice. The team held on in the bottom of the seventh to take a 7-3 victory over North Texas to close out the series.

Brown finished the contest 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs, while Sumerlin was 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs.

Trahan earned the win for Southern Miss in the circle after pitching seven complete innings and allowing five hits and three runs. Trahan also struck out seven batters in the contest.

Southern Miss returns home to face non-conference opponent Alcorn State in a doubleheader at the Southern Miss Softball Complex on Tuesday. First pitch for Game 1 is set for 4 p.m.